The month of May brings us the Tree Council’s annual celebration of trees and woods, Walk in the Woods. Walks, talks and other events will be taking place across the UK to encourage us all to make the most of our woods and local parks. Spring flowers and new leaves on the trees make such places particularly appealing at this time of year. For more information about events near you, see www.treecouncil.org.uk/Take-Part/Walk-in-the-Woods.
One of my favourite woodland treats at this time of year is to visit the bluebell woods at the National Trust Ashridge Estate in Hertfordshire. The contrast of the deep blue flowers against lime-green beech leaves can be stunning and it always amazes me how nature manages to produce such a perfect colour contrast (www.nationaltrust.org.uk/ashridge-estate).
I love woodland gardens too – some of the client projects over the years that I have liked best have featured woodland habitats that will encourage many wild creatures including moths and other insects to visit, as well as hosting carpets of wildflowers such as wood anemones, winter aconites, primroses and (naturally) more bluebells. These plants act as perfect foils to ferns and larger woodland shrubs and trees.
If part of your garden is shaded by mature trees, why not take the opportunity to create a woodland area, choosing plants that will thrive in dappled shade. Clients are often at a loss what to plant in shadier woodland settings but in fact there is a vast array of beautiful plants that thrive given careful choice and adequate moisture. My advice is to get out in the woodlands this Spring to get your inspiration from nature. Look at the type of plants that work in the wild (never dig up plants from the wild) and use them or similar ornamental cultivars in your own garden Go naturalistic in style to get the best from plants that will thrive in light shade.
At the Garden Company we have over 20 years’ experience of helping clients to make the most of their gardens/outdoor spaces, creating havens where people can relax. If you are based in London or the South-East, do give us a call on 01442 832666 to discuss your own requirements.